The story begins with a fight. Holly (Swank) is running up a seemingly endless flight of stairs with Gerry (Butler) in hot pursuit. He's apologizing, but like a typical male, he's really not quite sure what he did wrong--he just wants to make up and not sleep in the bathtub.
Nine years' marriage and they don't have a lot to show--no kids, no careers, and only a five flight walkup. But, it's obvious that Holly and Gerry love each other very much.
The next scene is Gerry's wake. It's a bittersweet affair--and I confess to laughing when I heard the ironic "Fairytale of New York" (Gerry's favorite song) played and sung to by his priest.
A few weeks' later, the letters begin. While the film only shows Gerry's life and Holly's impressions of his 'ghost', we realize he'd understood his cancer would take him and planned to help Holly get through it past the grave. His letters encourage her to get out, sing Karaoke, even go to Ireland. Those missives literally help her find her dreams and go on with her life.
"PS I love you" is what I expected--and more. The cast, scenery, and especially the music all fit well together to elicit tears--and yes, occasional laughter.
Gerard Butler is fabulous as always. He's one of the best new actors around and I hope to see him for many years to come. I didn't expect that he could sing--and he does an excellent job on "Galway Girls."
In my opinion, Hillary Swank is the best part of the film. She's not your typical Hollywood ingenue. She's sometimes awkward, she doesn't always look perfect, and yet her ability to convey emotions from the highs to the lows very impressive. When she comes home from the funeral alone, picks up her cell phone and just keeps calling her home phone to hear Gerry's voice over and over on the answering machine literally brought me to tears.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the big teddy bear Billy Gallagher was also great. You've seen him before if you watched "Grey's Anatomy" playing Denny Duquette. I'm very glad to see him getting silver screen roles. If you like him, look for him in 2008 in "The Accidental Husband."
Only one warning--take some tissues with you. This film will make you cry--and occasionally laugh so hard you'll have tears in your eyes, too.
Marketing P.S. I LOVE YOU was a hit/miss situation. The general trailer and the billboards seem to set the audience up for a sappy tearjerker. But happily what happens in this film is not the expected 'widowed person communicating with the dead love out of failure to get on with life' tale, but instead a look into the importance of friendship, family, and adjusting to the incomparable loss. Credit the original novel by Cecelia Ahern as adapted for the screen by Steven Rogers writer/director Richard LaGravenese for making what so easily have been a sappy, maudlin, whining tale into a touching one of human emotions with a sense of reality mixed with a mildly implausible situation, and a series of character studies that emphasize the importance of support in the time of grief.
Holly (Hilary Swank) and Gerry (Gerard Butler) Kennedy are a married couple with goals and frustrations and a huge dollop of passionate love, surrounded by friends and family. The tragedy happens just as the movie starts: Gerry has died of a brain tumor leaving the copeless Holly alone with her memories and self-inflicted regrets. But Gerry, knowing he was a terminal patient, devised his own plan to help Holly through that first year of grief: he left letters in various forms and places, advising Holly how to learn about his family and how to get on with life. Holly's mother (Kathy Bates) owns a bar and has supported her little family since Holly's father deserted his family years ago. In the bar is another injured soul named Daniel (Harry Connick Jr.) who fancies Holly but realizes she is far from ready to think about dating. Holly's friends Denise (Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon (Gina Gershon) accompany Holly to Gerry's pre-planned trip to his home in Ireland to meet the in-laws Holly never knew. While in Ireland Holly reminisces on the magic of first meeting Gerry, meets Gerry's parents as well as Gerry's best friend William (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and through it all manages to appreciate the gift of PS I Love You letters and reminders Gerry has left for her. And she ultimately finds closure to her loss.
The cast is strong and makes these at times strained characters into lovable people: Hilary Swank has made a successful entrance into the feminine lead role and is balanced to perfection by Butler, Morgan, Connick, Bates, Kudrow and Gershon. They make the implausible plausible and deliver a love story that goes beyond the level of superficial to join the ranks of warm and tender memorable slices of life. It is surprisingly good! Grady Harp, May 08
PS I Love You is a bitersweet love story. It is one of those films which you watch with a tear in your eyes and a wisp of a smile on your face.
Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank0 has lost her husband (300's Gerald Butler). As she is in mourning over his loss, she recieves letters from her dead husband. From these letters, she starts to break out of her shell of widowhood.
With the help of her Girlfriends (Gina Gersion and Lisa Kudrow) and her mom (Kathy Bates), Holly starts to live again.
It is one of those nice romantic film to share with those you love. It is a throwback to the older 1950's type films where words and images are more important than car chases and curse words.
The Cast blends together so well you could believe this story is true. Swank's Holly is so on the money, you feel her pain and joy
This is not just another chick flix, it is a well done romantic comedy. It will tug on your heart strings..if it does, check with your doctor to make sure you have a working heart.
I only wish there was a director or actor commentary, which there isnt. I would have enjoyed hearing someone insights on how they made this film..but it is not needed with a film this good
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
on March 28, 2008
I saw this movie twice while playing at the theaters and could not wait to purchase it on DVD. My best friend and I laughed and cried and really loved Gerard Butler in this part as well of the rest of the great casts' and funny and touching performances. Another friend saw it too and told the story about overhearing a 20ish male sitting behind her complaining to his girlfriend before the movie started about it being a "chick flick" which my friend overheard and commented back "yeah I guess it probably is a chick flick" At the end of the movie though, the 20ish male leaned forward and said to my friend "That was a great chick flick."
on December 24, 2007
As hopelessly contrived and predictable as "P.S. I Love You" is, it's still a charming, touching romantic comedy. The most surprising thing about it is Hilary Swank, whose resume of serious films has made a humorous role seem an unlikely choice. She makes full use of her softer, sillier side, playing a character that's loveable and irritating at the same time. I say this in spite of the fact that serious undertones run through the film, as they always do in romantic comedies; after losing her husband to cancer, Swank's character spends the rest of the film trying to find herself (for lack of a non-clichéd term). The twist is that her husband is posthumously guiding her with a series of handwritten letters, all of which were so strategically located that only a well-executed plan could see it through. A sweet but nonetheless baffling idea: How could a terminally ill man carry off something this elaborate in such a short period of time?
Never mind--I was still moved by the light-hearted sentimentality of the story, so I have to give credit where credit is due. The film opens in wintertime New York City with Holly Kennedy (Swank) storming home, absolutely furious. Right behind her is her Irish husband, Jerry (Gerard Butler), who knows he's said something to offend Holly but doesn't know what. It isn't until they enter their apartment that they really let loose: Holly is offended because Jerry commented on her waiting to have children. Now back in their apartment, everything he says gets misconstrued in some way, and a full-blown fight ensues. It isn't long before they make up, however, and by the time they do, Jerry promises his wife that he isn't going anywhere, despite their financial troubles, despite their current job situations. After nine years, he still loves her. He'll always love her, no matter what.
Naturally, the very next scene takes place at his memorial service. The audience is thankfully spared the unnecessary melodrama of his failing health and eventual death; no such scenes are included in this film. The filmmakers wisely chose to focus on what happens afterwards with Holly, who--as you might have guessed--is so grief-stricken that she shuts herself off and lets herself go. It isn't until her thirtieth birthday that things begin to change; as her worried family and friends sit by her side, a birthday cake is delivered with a mini cassette recorder taped to the inside of the box. Holly presses the Play button and hears Jerry's voice explaining that he wrote her a series of letters as he was dying. Holly will receive them all over a period of time, and each one will instruct her to do something bold and adventurous. Basically, his words will push her into living her life without focusing so much on his death.
The rest of the film is all about Holly fulfilling her husband's last requests, from singing in a karaoke bar to meeting his parents back in his native Ireland (where--you guessed it--another letter waits). Her friends and family offer as much support as they can, all while engaged in their own minor subplots. Her best friend, Denise (Lisa Kudrow), is desperate to find Mr. Right, so desperate that she openly asks potential dates about their relationship status, their financial status, and their sexual orientation. Holly's mother, Patricia (Kathy Bates), loves her daughter but has trouble accepting Jerry's postmortem plan. She was never fully accepting of him to begin with; he and Holly married at young ages, meaning that a lot could have gone wrong. And Patricia definitely understands the pain of losing a husband (albeit under much different circumstances).
The most interesting side character is Daniel (Harry Connick, Jr.), who works for Holly's mother at a local bar. He claims to have a syndrome: his social filter is defective, meaning he'll say anything to anyone at anytime. He openly tells Holly that she's hot, that she's a terrible singer, and that he's getting sick of hearing about Jerry all the time. Part of the truth is obvious--he has feelings for Holly. The rest of the truth is not so clear-cut--he, too, has been deeply wounded by a past relationship. From this alone, the two are emotional matches. That doesn't necessarily mean that they would work as a couple, especially with the inclusion of William (Jeffery Dean Morgan), the man Holly meets on her trip to Ireland. So the question is raised: Will Holly and Daniel find romance in the midst of tragedy? Will Holly allow herself to love again, or even to let her life go in a new direction?
As fresh and exciting as I'm making this sound, the reality is that "P.S. I Love You" is a fairly routine story of love, loss, and emotional rebirth. That doesn't make it a bad movie by any means; in all honesty, I found it quite satisfying. Most of this has to do with Hilary Swank, who impressed me with her ability to transcend the heavy-handed, solemn movie roles she's known for. But the rest of the cast does a decent job, as well, doing justice to a well-established cinematic formula. I also appreciated the letter-writing plot point, simply because it was cleverly (if strangely) executed. Some may feel that Jerry's letter writing is a method of control, but do you honestly think that a romantic comedy would go that far? It's not control so much as it's a way to nudge Holly in the right direction--I believe that, were it not for his letters, she would mourn the rest of her life. And is it any coincidence that he ends every letter with the film's title?
on January 12, 2008
I had actually been dragging my feet because the movie itself was not an exact copy of the book which was wonderful. However, that said, did it matter???? No, to me, in the end, not one bit. I laughed, sighed and cried throughout the entire movie. It blew me away. I cannot wait to own this gem. there was only one man in our theater. The rest were Gerry Butler fans (yes, I can spot them a mile away) and teenage girls, who did their own share of crying and hugging after the movie. This movie hits home on many different levels. It is not just about the death of a beloved spouse, it is about the uncertainty of life and how to go on living when things do not go as you planned, how to forgive yourself if you didn't get around to doing certain things (having children). It shows us that though marriage never goes as you planned it (or fantasized it would), that it is your life and you are in the middle of it. It's about loving yourself and your spouse during those not so perfect times. In the end, the most important thing is how to find yourself and keep the faith after the worst possible thing has happened. Love, anger, fear, loss, and abandoment- it is all there.
Everyone was great. Gerry brought so much energy and soul to his role! He is so damn handsome and sexy!! Oh, and to hear him sing again was an extra added bonus! Hilary was terrific and very believable- she did great playing against type. I really wasn't sure before the movie if I would warm to Harry Connick's character, but his off-beat Daniel was very likable and cute. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was great, too. His roles is small but important. He was very charming and has a very cute arse!!!!
I cannot say anything negative. I loved this movie and can't wait to see it again!!
"PS I Love You" is a delightful film about a young widow and how her husband, knowing he was dying, left her a legacy of letters designed to encourage her into living again after his death. Hilary Swank delivers a high-energy performance opposite the always sexy Gerard Butler. Lisa Kudrow is a hoot as Hilary's friend. Gina Gershon, James Marsters (Spike from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame), Harry Connick, Jr., and Kathy Bates round out the cast. The locations are rich and beautiful! Even the apartment where Hilary lives and the pub her mother owns are almost characters, themselves. This film made me laugh - the priest singing at the Irish wake was particularly amusing. It made me cry - too many times to name. It made me laugh while I was crying. It is a lovely movie filled with lots of surprises!
on December 31, 2007
So here is the thing. I don't watch many regular television programs so
have never seen some of the supporting cast and their trademark 'acts.'
I have never read the novel, P.S, I Love You. Or any other Ahern
writings. Never have seen any of the actors except Hilary Swank, Gerard
Butler and Kathy Bates. I don't know anything about walk-up apartments
in New York. (Seemed to bug some people.) I'm not an 'expert' on Irish
I caught the film for the second time 12/30 at the 10:35 a.m. showing;
there was an amazing crowd for a Sunday morning. The projection was
perfect. No microphones (complaints on some boards) on view. The sound
was great. That end song over the credits is a winner! And I loved it
more that I did the first time on the opening Friday morn, the 21st.
Holly is a real person, imperfect and annoying at times. Hilary Swank
is perfect. Those who want a 'babyface" child/woman to play Holly are
not living in the real world. There are more look-a-likes for Hilary
than the usual cookie-cutter cute young things Hollywood usually casts.
And Hilary has the chops to make us understand this childish woman and
how she starts the healing and growing up, with her Gerry's memory to
I loved Lisa Kudrows questions to potentials. Very funny. I loved
Holly's quirky sister and thought she brought energy and sunshine to
her scenes. The boat scene is cliché' but funny all the same.
I still say the ballpark scene was not needed. They could have cut it
and the expense, and had the reading of the letter as voice-over.
Daniel and Holly 'were over' in the restaurant, and the audience knows
it. Daniel is an interesting "other man" and a new type. More
interesting than usual. But did anyone really think they would end up
together? Not me.
Bates is always good, but I just don't see that her part is 'wonderful'
as others keep saying. It's a part Bates can do in her sleep. The
Mother had never reconciled to the marriage and seemed waspish. Holly
had to overlook her disapproval while trying to find her way with her
I wonder how many scenes with James Marstars and Gina Gershon were left
on the cutting room floor. They were hardly in the film.
And Jeffrey Dean Morgan, although good looking in a grinny-goofy way,
hardly has any lines to say. And they are one-note. So not a great
The cinematography is gorgeous, from the streets of New York to the
Our audience today clapped when the 'Mustang Sally" scene started. More
energy and excitement there than in all the rest of the film. Gerry
Butler is Mr. Wonderful. Singing, flirting, great body language, and a
delicious deep kiss, at last. *sigh* I've upgraded my rating to a 9
from a 7.
Postcript: I didn't read this book and I have promised myself that I
will never buy a book thinking I will see it on film. Never happens. I
have promised myself I will not see every preview and teaser of a film
before I go to the theater.
The previews of PSILY were clips chopped up from 5 to 10 seconds and
did not show what the scenes they were from were about. I went thinking
I was seeing quite a different film, just from all the clips we were
able to see online and on TV. My first viewing was clouded by that
fact. I did not see what the preview seemed to say I should be seeing.
From now on I will go in like I did for "Phantom Of The Opera" -
knowing nothing, never having seen a preview. But I knew I loved the
Or last years "The Departed." I had never even heard of it and went
because I wanted to see the "300" preview on a big screen. But I loved
This has taught me a lesson. I've seen one preview of "Nims Island" -
the next Butler film, out in April, and love what I see. Don't want to
read the book. I'll not be watching or reading about the film. Don't
want any more information than I have right now. That way, it is just
me and what's on the screen - and that's what it's all about. One
person in the dark, reacting to what the director, crew and actors have
made for them. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. :) Jane
on January 1, 2008
After forcing my girlfriend to sit through Walk Hard & Alien Vs. Preadtor 2 I was dragged to see P.S. I Love You and I have to say that I was pleasntly surpised. Unless she's playing a man Hilary Swank in my opinion always plays Hilary Swank in every from The Core to Freedom Writers. Mrs/ Swanks gave one of her better performances as Holly and earned a new respect from me. The chemistry between Swank and Butler is charming and heartbreaking when their love is lost. The emotions are geunine and the tears are earned and not forced unlike some romantic films. I want go into anymore deatil about the filn as the trailers pretty much give away the plot, but if your romantic at heart then this is a film you'll enjoy.
life treats you kind
And I hope
you have all you've dreamed of
And I wish you joy
But above all this
I wish you love
Will always love you"
Gerry (Gerard Butler) and Holly (Hilary Swank) are married, without children, and are very much in love. Swept off her feet at a tender age by the handsome Irishman, Holly isn't exactly sure what she wants from life, and this leads to petty squabbles and extremely hot making up afterwards.
Before they really get started, the Fates snip Gerry's thread, and Holly is left with a snazzy urn and an empty apartment, which she proceeds to fill with her blue funk.
Her thirtieth birthday brings a big surprise, as it seems that for once, Gerry has made a plan. Gerry's gift goes on giving, and gradually Holly comes to terms with her life, while we, the audience, get to look on with unbridled glee.
Butler is as easy on the eyes as always, and Swank pulls off a difficult role with apparent ease. Lisa Kudrow is a perfect friend, and Kathy Bates proves unsinkable. Other good performances are logged by Gina Gershon and Harry Connick Jnr.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. Sometimes even death can't end an undying love
A chick flick, but an extremely watchable one, especially for fans of Gerard Butler.
Amanda Richards, July 6, 2008